The Great Goddess: Reverence of the Divine Feminine from the Paleolithic to the Present

The Great Goddess: Reverence of the Divine Feminine from the Paleolithic to the Present

by Jean Markale

Paperback(1st U.S. Edition)

$17.69 $18.95 Save 7% Current price is $17.69, Original price is $18.95. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, November 19


• A study of the primordial figure of the Great Goddess and her continued worship through time as shown by the myths, shrines, and sanctuaries around the world that honor this powerful symbol of creation.

• A noted historian on pre-Christian societies provides an extensive worldwide listing of sites and sanctuaries associated with goddess worship.

• Explores goddess worship in cultures around the world, including Native American, Egyptian, Indian, and Oriental civilizations.

• Demonstrates that although her worship has sometimes been forced underground it has never disappeared.

In ancient Babylon she was Anat, in Egypt, Isis and Hathor, Dana in Celtic Ireland, Rhea and Demeter in Greece, and in India, Anapurna the Provider. She is the Great Goddess, the Goddess of Beginnings, the symbol of Earth and the giver of life, the Vast Mother, who represents all the powers and mysteries of creation for early humanity.

Shifting her solar association onto masculine deities and blackening those of her symbols that, like the serpent, could not be assimilated, patriarchal societies forced the preeminent power of the feminine into an obscure and subservient position. Yet, as shown by noted scholar Jean Markale, the Goddess did not simply disappear when her position was usurped, and the power she represents has been the source of continuous religious devotion from ancient times through the Middle Ages up to the present day.

In looking at the plethora of myths, sites, and sanctuaries devoted to this powerful figure, The Great Goddess provides abundant evidence of the extraordinary permanence of her worship—even at the heart of those religions that tried to destroy her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780892817153
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 09/01/1999
Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, Jean Markale has spent a lifetime researching pre-Christian civilizations. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Druids, The Celts, Merlin, Women of the Celts, and King of the Celts. A specialist in Celtic studies at the Sorbonne, he lives in the Brittany region of France.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Vast Mother

Part 1: Images and Sanctuaries of the Goddess

1. Our Lady of the Beginnings: The Paleolithic Period
2. Our Lady Under Ground: The Megalithic Epoch
3. The Eclipsed Virgin: The Bronze Age, the Celts, and the Gallo-Romans
4. The Triumph of the Mother: The Christian Middle Ages
5. The Eternal Return of the Divine Woman: The Sixteenth to Twentieth Centuries
6. The Sacred Placed of Our Lady

Part 2: Our Lady in All Things


7. The Indian Subcontinent, the Far East, and the Americas
8. Ancient Egypt and the Near East
9. Greece and the Aegean Sea
10. Continental Europe
11. Far Western Europe


Index of Sites, Museums, Sanctuaries, and Pilgrimages


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Markale provides a breathtakingly sweeping overview of the divine feminine. Written with fervor and panache, Markale's very readable book is an extraordinary and challenging treatment of the subject."

"He repeatedly compares the imagery of the Virgin Mary to the imagery of goddess worship as far back as we can trace Her. All in all, this is a good book. It has a great deal of interesting information about the history of Goddess imagery."

"In this comprehensive work, Markale traces beliefs and practices from ancient times to the present. For those who wish to learn more of the Great Goddess, reviled yet embraced by religions of the world, this book is a general overview offering excellent, readable information."

"This is an important book, adding well-researched and thoughtful information to the goddess literature. I recommend it."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Great Goddess: Reverence of the Divine Feminine from the Paleolithic to the Present 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Louise_Waugh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Differs from much Goddess lit in not being rabidly anti-Christian, instread posits the Mary is in fact the Goddess of All Beginings as She manifests today. Claims to be scholarly, but footnotes are very light and mainly reference the authors own work, and some claims are flat out WRONG - such as that Sts Patrick and Bridget are not officially recognised.